What Should a Woman Ask For in a Prenup?
by Unbundled Legal Help
When a woman’s future spouse asks about a prenup, most women will not respond favorably. Prenups are most often viewed negatively. Most women do not realize that prenups can be beneficial for both spouses, not just the spouse requesting the agreement.
Aside from the typical provisions in a prenup, women can ask for additional terms, including premarital property, gifts, and infidelity clauses.
Prenups are difficult to handle on your own without legal guidance. For best results, women should consider an unbundled lawyer to help ensure their rights and interests remain protected. We can connect you today with an unbundled lawyer in your area.
What Is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup for short, is essentially a contract between two individuals created before they marry. Every couple’s needs differ, but they will create prenups that provide for asset and debt distribution should they go through a divorce, or one spouse passes away.
Depending on your state, a prenup can also be called an antenuptial agreement, premarital agreement, or marital contract.
Many people view prenuptial agreements negatively, believing a spouse requesting a prenup is thinking ahead to divorce. However, prenuptial agreements can be beneficial for both parties and primarily provide peace of mind.
Why Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
Anyone can benefit from a prenuptial agreement, not just the rich. Getting a prenup is a particularly good idea under the following circumstances:
- One or both spouses have extensive assets or property
- One or both spouses have their own business
- Either spouse has children from a previous marriage
- One or both spouses have an inheritance they wish to protect
- Either party has a substantial amount of debt
Prenup agreements can provide significant protection to spouses and children.
What’s Usually Included in a Prenup?
Every prenup is different, as spouses individually and together have specific needs and desires. Prenuptial agreements often include the following provisions:
- Asset distribution - Spouses often enter the marriage with their own property and assets and subsequently acquire additional property and assets after they marry. One of a prenup’s primary goals is to dictate how property and asset distribution will work between spouses should the marriage end in divorce.
- Debt distribution - Debt is a major detail for spouses to consider. Debt can include mortgages, credit cards, car payments, and other types of loans. The prenup can describe how spouses will distribute existing debts at the time of their divorce.
- Spousal support - A prenup can include details regarding spousal support. Details can include when a spouse is entitled to support, including, for example, if a spouse is in an unfavorable financial state.
- Specifications for a death - A prenuptial agreement can also provide provisions for a spouse’s death.
Depending on the couple’s goals, the prenuptial agreement can include many other details. Usually, the more details, the better. The main point of a prenuptial agreement is to make the divorce process easier for everyone, lessening stress and contention.
What Should a Woman Ask For in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are customizable, so long as they are not unreasonable, do not favor one party over the other, or violate public policy. Therefore, women should feel empowered to ask for what they need.
While women may ask men for a prenuptial agreement, in most cases, it’s men who ask women to sign a prenuptial agreement before the marriage. This often leaves the woman feeling apprehensive, unsure of what to think or how to feel. It is also extremely common for women to fear they will get a bad deal, and the prenup will favor the man.
If a man asks a woman to sign a prenuptial agreement, the woman is fully in her right to review the agreement in its entirety before signing, and she may negotiate terms if needed. Before reviewing the drafted agreement, women regularly seek legal counsel to ensure they are getting a fair deal.
When creating a prenup, women can ask for any of the following items:
- Alimony - Prenuptial agreements do not always include provisions for spousal support, but women should ensure it’s included. Women play a vital role in marriages, often taking a backseat to their husband’s careers and goals and taking time away from their own careers to take care of the children. In many cases, women are entitled to some form of alimony and should not shy away from asking for it.
- Premarital property - Premarital property is property purchased by an individual spouse before the marriage. Women should protect their premarital property to be sure they take it back after the marriage is over. Including a clause dictating that the woman is entitled to keep any premarital property and assets is essential.
- Gifts - During a marriage, spouses exchange gifts. It is common for men to try to take lavish gifts back during a divorce. A gifts clause can entitle each spouse to keep what their spouse gifted them.
- Infidelity clause - An infidelity clause details provisions should one spouse be unfaithful to the other. These clauses are especially helpful in states with no-fault divorce. An infidelity clause specifies the consequences of infidelity, including a set amount the unfaithful spouse must pay the faithful spouse.
Women frequently shy away from requesting what they need in a prenuptial agreement, resulting in a contract they are insecure about. A prenuptial agreement should make both spouses feel protected, and each spouse should negotiate to protect their rights and interests.
What To Do before Getting a Prenup
The idea of getting a prenup is often enough to make women run in the other direction. However, if done right, prenups do not have to cast a negative shadow on relationships and marriages.
If you’re considering getting a prenup, start with the following steps:
- Talk to your future spouse - Communication is key. Before involving attorneys, discuss the idea of a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse. What are the goals? What does each of you want out of the agreement? What would make the agreement fair? Having an honest discussion with your partner can help ease some of the stress and put a positive spin on the process.
- Gather important information - When it comes time to create the prenuptial agreement, you will both need to disclose fully all information regarding finances and assets. Full disclosure helps when creating the agreement to ensure you’re both on the same page.
- Consult with a family lawyer - Whether you’re the one creating the prenup or the one reviewing the agreement, you’ll want to seek legal guidance from a family lawyer. Having an attorney on your side can benefit you now and in the future.
Taking these steps before diving into the process can help you feel better prepared and secure.
Is It Possible to Change the Prenup in the Future?
Yes, if needed, it is possible to change your prenuptial agreement in the future. Modifying your agreement does, however, require both parties, and it cannot be done by one alone. If the parties wish to amend their prenup, they will need a written agreement signed by both parties.
If spouses wish to cancel their prenup altogether, they can also do so through a written agreement.
Does the Woman Have Her Own Lawyer?
The requirement for spouses to have a lawyer depends on state law and personal preference. Some states do not require legal help, while others require each spouse have their own attorney.
It is always best for each spouse to seek guidance from their own lawyer. When you have your own lawyer, you’re getting the absolute best legal advice and your attorney is negotiating to get you the fairest possible outcome. Without a lawyer, you may not know what laws apply to your situation and can end up with an unfavorable agreement.
When going through the prenuptial agreement process, you’re entitled to have enough time to seek counsel and review the agreement entirely before agreeing. Prenups should always be fair for both parties.
An Unbundled Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights and Interests
Having your own attorney during the prenuptial agreement process is ideal. However, family lawyers are expensive. If you wish to get legal assistance while keeping costs at a minimum, an unbundled lawyer can help.
Unbundled lawyers work on a “pay as you go” basis. When you hire an unbundled lawyer, you will only pay for the services you actually need. Whether you need extensive guidance or minimal assistance, your unbundled lawyer is there for you at every step.
Unbundled Legal Help believes everyone should have quality, accessible legal representation without the high price tag. We’ve built an impressive network of skilled lawyers ready to help you.
If you’re considering a prenuptial agreement, you don’t have to go through the process alone. Contact us today to get matched with an experienced unbundled lawyer in your area.